Forsvarets Forskningsdatabase


Normal at last? German strategic culture and the Holocaust

Projekt: Typer af projekter

A hope for or fear of a more ’normal’ German state behaviour within foreign and security policy – understood as a type of behaviour that is more focussed and based on power and power politics, like the one many other great powers have been prone to historically – is premature and generally misguided when it comes to post-war, post-unification and post-Brexit Germany. Despite being the largest, richest and most populous country in Europe, and despite being situated at the centre of Europe and thus affected by most developments in Europe, Germany is still somewhat reluctant to take on a leading role in Europe – most notably when it comes to security issues. The reason is that German strategic culture is still highly influenced by the collective remembrance of the Holocaust and the lessons Germany has drawn from it. Thus, the Holocaust nation discourse is still the central ’unwritten constitution’ of the Federal Republic of Germany and has so far limited and delayed all attempts to develop a more active Germany within foreign and security policy. Germany may thus be on its way to becoming a more active great power, but only at a slow pace, and it is still far from ‘normal’.

    Forsknings- og udviklingsområder

  • Germany, strategic culture, Holocaust


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